The Dabble

-food with a side of life-

Thursday Night Lineup and Easy Pear Tart

On Wednesday night we watch our usual ABC lineup. We love this night on this channel-Modern Family, The Middle, Cougar Town (took a while to latch on but it’s slowly growing on me) and Ugly Betty (which ABC is canceling and is rather upsetting). I also love Thursday night’s lineup on ABC: I’m not sure about the new show, the Deep End (but I’m giving it a chance), Grey’s Anatomy (my favorite show) and Private Practice but it’s hard to remain loyal to one channel on this night with Parks and Recreation, the Office and 30 Rock on NBC. We catch-up on those at another time. During a visit home, in an attempt to get my family to watch Greys, I stammered that” my anatomy is on,” which is a completely different show. Greg hasn’t forgotten and enjoys announcing, around Thursday dinner normally, that my anatomy is on with a smartass smirk.

Anywho, Thursday night is my evening to have wine or a mixed drink. I’ve come to enjoy this tremendously. I think it has to do with it being technically the beginning of our weekend. Greg is not required to work on Friday but he goes in to have more time on projects and comes home early in the afternoon for lunch. Then, we go on to do chores, errands and eventually, our typical Friday night…something cheap, probably movies or Wii/board games. If we have a little money leftover, we go to a restaurant or for a drink and attempt to socialize. Attempt since people tend to keep to themselves or their parties here and we can’t afford, most weekends, to drive beyond this town-both gas and going out is hard on our budget. That is actually our Saturday nights too.

So yes, Thursday night seems like our night to begin our weekend, wind down and stay up a little bit later….I do anyway. I look over at Greg halfway through “our shows” and his eyes are closed, mouth agape, head bobbing-he’s dozed into some light sleep stage. How does he do this? It could be his 4:30AM wake up call or that deep down he is an 80 year old man and one click away from changing the show to Matlock. (He stays up when it’s important.) Who am I kidding? I’m a step away from Boniva.

I admit, sometimes I am upset that he is asleep (you should see my reaction on Friday or Saturday nights when I find him with his eyes closed at 9PM) because I want to stay up and not alone. I joke with him that I will have to find a boyfriend that will stay up late with me but one that isn’t attracted to me physically or emotionally, which shouldn’t be hard. If you fit this description, let me know. (Watch me receive all kinds of pervos-ugh.) Maybe I should stick to finding a third person to test the food I prepare.

Would you like to try my pear tart? If you don’t happen to be in Minnesota, you’re in luck because I am handing out this simple, rustic tart recipe. The best part of this is that you could use any kind of pear or apples and it’s great when you need to use up an overabundance of fruit. I used the pear I found at our local co-op, beurre bosc, which is brown and came from Mt. Hood. This is so easy and looks rustically elegant. The puff pastry can be shaped however you wish (I wished for a rectangle)-hint: use a plate to make a circle. I didn’t make my own puff pastry because it was just easier to buy in the freezer section of the grocery store but you could if you’re feeling it. The fruit can be arranged to your liking, it’s that easy. A tart/quiche pan (with a removable bottom) works or place the tart on a baking sheet without raised sides to bake. Top with whipped cream or ice cream and enjoy your shows.

Easy Pear Tart

Easy Pear Tart
Serves 8 to 12 (mine was 8.5”x 12”x 1”)

2 whole sheet puffed pastry (in the freezer section of stores)
3 to 4 pears (or apples), cored, quartered, sliced but not peeled
¼ cup brown sugar
2 tbsp butter
pinch of salt

You will need to thaw the puff pastry sheets on the counter for a few hours or in the refrigerator overnight. I would leave them inside the box within their wrapper.

Preheat the oven to 400. Place the thawed pastry sheets, unfolded, on top of one another and roll to fit your pan or to the size and shape you wish. (You can use a plate to make it into a circle.) A tart/quiche pan (with a removable bottom) works or place the tart on a baking sheet without raised sides, thinly coat with nonstick spray, and press the pastry into the pan or just place it on the baking sheet. I pressed the pastry up the sides of the fluted pan and removed the excess. Place in the refrigerator while preparing the fruit.

In a small saucepan (or in the microwave), over low heat, melt the butter, add the sugar and salt and stir. Remove from the heat. Place the cut fruit, arranged however you wish, onto the puff pastry and drizzle/spoon all of the sugar mixture over the top. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the pastry is puffed and golden brown. Remove from the pan to a serving platter and allow to cool for a few minutes. Cut and top with powdered sugar, whipped cream or ice cream and serve.

Whipped Cream-makes about 1 to 1½ cups
8 oz. heavy cream
1/3 cup sugar
pinch of salt

In a glass or metal bowl, I used my electric mixer; add chilled heavy cream, sugar and a pinch of salt. Whip with mixer on low for a minute or two, when stiff peaks begin to form, switch to a higher setting for nice, fluffy whipped cream. If mixing by hand, whip until soft peaks form.

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